As the cultural, social and economic epicentre of England, London represents the very essence of the country. It is home to a number of galleries and museums, which tell the tale of this land’s rich heritage and people, both ancient and modern.
The Foundling Museum
This museum is dedicated to the story of the Foundling Hospital, which was London's first sanctuary for abandoned children. The art, interior décor and history that are displayed within its walls are fascinating and touching. The structure is the restored building that was once adjacent to the original hospital. Unfortunately, the hospital was demolished in 1928. The Foundling Museum was established in 1998 by the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children, today known as Coram.
There are audio tours available. These audio pieces are also available for free download (in MP3 format) on their website.
Today, The Foundling Museum places high esteem on educational initiatives and offers schools’ curriculum-linked sessions for Foundation, Key Stages 1 to 4, GCSE, A Level and AS Level.
The British Museum
Curving modern roof covering courtyard at the British Museum
casting shadows over the older stone architecture
This ample museum reveals the secrets of the human race, displaying seven million different objects as evidence. In addition to the many exhibitions and displays, there is also the opportunity for visitors to have a look at what goes on behind the scenes of a museum, witnessing the conservation and storage techniques of the valuable remnants of times past. There is a permanent collection on display as well as a dynamic set of exhibitions and events, which change on a regular basis.
The British Museum offers free access and is open every day from 10h00 to 17h30. There are multimedia guides available in 10 languages. Tours cover the themes of Leaders and Rulers, Writing, Money, Animals, Same-sex Desire and Gender Identity, and Time. This museum also showcases an impressive array of cultures, which is sure to intrigue young and old alike.
The Leighton House Museum
This is known as one of the most impressive structures of the 1800’s and was the home of Lord Leighton. He was a Victorian artist and his home is now a private treasure trove of magnificent art. There are distinct Oriental overtones in the design, creating a fascinating retreat from the hustle and bustle of city living.
The Bank of England Museum
The museum is dedicated to the interesting story behind the Bank of England, which is the main bank of the country today. This bank plays a crucial role in England’s economy. Learning about its history, from Roman times until our modern day, is an enriching and unforgettable experience.
Admission is free to everyone and includes a museum guide (English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Welsh). English audio guides are also available.
The Barbican Art Gallery
The Barbican Art Gallery showcases leading international artists in a number of different spheres, including architecture, fashion, photography, and so on. There are a number of exhibitions, each accompanied by talks and events that complement them. Contemporary artists are also excited to be commissioned to do a brand new set of works for The Curve, part of the main gallery.
Live guiding is available and special programmes are designed for the visually impaired.
The Jewish Museum
Established in 1932, this museum displays a most impressive collection of Jewish ceremonial art, from as early as 1066 right through to the 20th Century. There are special exhibitions held throughout the year, which change regularly, ensuring a unique experience with every visit.
The Jewish Museum is committed to education and offers various programmes that deal with religious education, history, the Holocaust, and citizenship curriculums.